SON in the Community and Abroad
Do you remember the excitement you experienced when you learned how to administer an IM injection? Our first year MEPN students have learned the theory, practiced the injection skill in the lab, and then they were off administering flu shots throughout campus.
Pictured: MEPN Jade Stenzel administers a flu shot to USD employee, Peggy Mata.
The flu shot clinic was a good starting point for the MEPN students, some of whom plan to take part in USD SON’s annual medical missions to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
In January of this year, eighteen students, including four pre-health undergrads, two faculty, a community dentist volunteer, and a community nurse volunteer made the annual medical mission to El Cercado, Dominican Republic. Their goals were to provide a community needs assessment, pediatric primary care, well-child and psycho-social assessments, and dental examinations.
The American volunteers assessed 303 school-aged children and adults. Most were in need of dental care. The nurses treated minor illnesses such as ear and skin disorders including scabies, impetigo, otitis media, urinary tract infections, routine coughs and colds. Many children suffered from anemia and deficits in both vision and hearing.
The volunteer nurse practitioner and students also made home visits to shut-ins, including several with extreme and chronic mental illness and some who had suffered strokes. Many of these people lived in remote areas, requiring the Americans to travel into the mountains to provide assessments, care, and later in the week to return for follow-up.
The group took time to tour the new and improved Nutrifort production site. The site is operated by the El Cercado Women’s Nutritional Coop to produce and sell the nutritional supplement Nutrifort, a healthy, high-caloric snack to fight malnutrition. The production model, developed by two former USD SON MEPN students, Kristina James and Amber Zimmerman, received the USD Center for Peace and Commerce Social Innovation Grant project award in 2012.
Volunteers plan to depart for their 2014 mission on January 2.